Thursday August 10 2017
Sacchi: ‘Napoli condemned to perfection’

Arrigo Sacchi believes Juventus will win the Scudetto again, as while he prefers Napoli they’re “condemned to perfection”.

The Bianconeri have won the title for the past six seasons in a row, a Serie A record, but Maurizio Sarri’s side have been tipped to challenge the Old Lady for her crown this season.

“Juventus will win the Scudetto again, because they have the advantage of having a superior character,” Sacchi predicted in an interview with Corriere della Sera.

“In fact, I’ll correct myself: Juve can only lose it. Napoli are the team I prefer, the most harmonious. Their style of play is among the top three in the world, and Sarri is a genius.

“Why won’t they win? Because Napoli are condemned to perfection. They have an exceptional collective, ideas and quality, but as individuals they lack physical strength, experience and history.

“When it comes to gritting your teeth in the difficult moments, you need leaders. They’re on the right path though, with every month that passes Napoli improve.

“Last year they lost [Gonzalo] Higuain and then [Arkadiusz] Milik but they scored more goals. Sooner or later they’ll win the Scudetto, maybe it could even be this year.

“Juve have mental strength, which is linked to their individual quality and a club among the top five in the world, that’s worth an extra few points right from the get-go.

“I must say though that I don’t like the message of ‘only winning counts’. I’d give some advice to [President Andrea] Agnelli which would be to take a step forward and combine merit, beauty and victory.”

Sacchi was also asked for his opinions on the other likely Scudetto contenders, starting with Roma.

“Every environment has its own sociological characteristics. When I arrived at Milan in 1987 I thought we could get going right away, I thought it was the perfect place for pressing.

“Here in Rome it’s a complex, demanding city. They finished second but the people weren’t happy.

“The Milan clubs? Organisation is a pyramid, and at the top there’s always the club, so first we need to understand how the new owners will move.

“I like [Luciano] Spalletti a lot, but over the years Inter have had loads of good Coaches and it went badly. Maybe the problem was Inter, not the Coach.

“As for Milan, I liked [Coach Vincenzo] Montella at Fiorentina, now he seems more tactical and he’s tried to give an identity.

“It seems to me that [sporting director Massimiliano] Mirabelli - who I don’t know - is giving him a good team and has moved positively.

“It’s seems to me that they’ve bought well, but you know me, I think about ideas before money.”

Having spoken about money, the legendary tactician was asked about Neymar’s €222m move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.

“There are two distinct things to say about this,” Sacchi replied.

“The first is that clubs are richer, and therefore it’s normal to have more money circulating, it’s the modern economy.

“It’s no longer sport but a sporting spectacle, there’s more audience so therefore there’s more money. It’s not a scandal.

“The other is about players, who only act for financial convenience. Well, I think that’s a mistake. I remember Kaka and [Andriy] Shevchenko, they were never the same when they left Milan.

“Greed destroys you, it slaughters you.

“Football is nurtured with passion, with courage. Courage sets things free, like ideas, like beauty.”